Groom & Lavers, Family Law team is staffed by experienced lawyers who can assist you in any family law matter, including separation, divorce, parenting arrangements, property settlements, child support, financial agreements and domestic violence issues.
Separation & Divorce
We will advise you on how to obtain a separation and divorce. Australia’s family law is based on a no-fault principle. Before a divorce can be granted, you need to satisfy the Court that you and your spouse have lived separately and apart for at least 12 months, and there is no reasonable likelihood of resuming married life. It is possible, however, to live together in the same home and still be regarded as separated. As part of any separation and divorce, you’ll need to consider how the property of the marriage will be divided, and how any minor children will be cared for. We can advise and assist you through this time.
We can advise you on the structure of your property settlement, taking into account your needs and wishes following the end of your marriage. When deciding on the property settlement, there are a number of factors to be considered including the length of the relationship, the financial contributions made by both parties, non- financial contributions, the parties’ individual incomes and potential to earn an income, the cost of care for any children of the relationship as well as the health of the parties.
We can also provide opinions on your prospects for property settlement, to give you an idea of what you might be entitled to receive from the marital pool of assets.
Once you have agreed on a property settlement or received a court order, we can assist you with the transfer of property.
Parenting Arrangements & Child Support
We will assist you to finalise the parenting arrangements for your children, focusing always on the best interests of the children. We recognise the importance of children maintaining a relationship with both parents after a separation occurs.
If you can’t agree on a parenting arrangement, you may need to apply to the court, for legally binding orders regarding who the children live and spend time with. We can help you to understand your rights and obligations when drafting these Orders.
We can help you achieve a resolution in a child parenting dispute and represent you in child protection matters.
We can advise you in relation to child support matters: who should pay child support, and how much?
Binding Financial Agreements
Should you sign a Binding Financial Agreement (or pre-nuptial agreement) before, during or after your marriage?
The Family Law Act now allows people who are thinking of marrying or entering into a de facto relationship (as well as people who are already married or in a de facto relationship) to make an agreement setting out how their assets will be divided if they do end up separating. The requirements of these agreements are very strict, including the need for both parties to get their own independent legal advice from a solicitor. We can advise you on the advantages and disadvantages of entering into a Binding Financial Agreement after separation.
We can prepare a Binding Financial Agreement for you prior to entering a marriage or after you’ve separated if this is suitable for your particular circumstances.
If you have experienced physical and sexual abuse, emotional and/or verbal abuse or threatening behaviour we can assist you in making an urgent Application for a Protection Order.
We can assist you in defending an application brought against you in circumstances where an order is not warranted.
Mediation & Court Appearances
Mediation involves you and your former spouse sitting down with an independent third person (a mediator) to attempt to resolve issues in dispute. Before commencing court proceedings concerning children and/or property settlements, the parties are usually required to first attend mediation, which is also known as Family Dispute Resolution.
We can represent you in your mediation matter, and should this ultimately fail, represent you in your court matter.
Once your divorce is finalised, we’ll help you review your estate planning and will, to make sure that your new circumstances are documented.